Turner Sports play-by-play man Dick Stockton was like almost everyone else at the United Center on Monday – stunned with what he saw from the Bulls.
“I was shocked with how the Bulls came out with no energy coming off that Jim Cornelison National Anthem,” Stockton said. “I expected them to show why they were a 62-20 team against a team they have a favorable matchup with. Instead they came out with nothing.”
“As Red Auerbach said, ‘It’s not solitaire.’ The Hawks deserve credit,” Stockton said. “They moved the ball, their shot selection was better and (point guard) Jeff Teague is a great story. He played just nine minutes in the Orlando series but did not let Derrick Rose get to the line.”
Stockton called the March 22 Chicago-Atlanta game, during which the Bulls built a 47-point lead. So it would have been hard for him to imagine the Hawks winning this series.
Now a Bulls’ victory is no foregone conclusion.
“It’s time for the Bulls to assert themselves,” said Stockton, who will call Wednesday’s Game 2 alongside Mike Fratello. “They can’t just go slogging through two series and then expect to beat Miami or Boston.”